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  1. taylorericjohn

    taylorericjohn ODSC-OFTR Member

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    I don't ride alone much (I don't get to ride much solo or with a group for that matter) but I do on occasion do some solo riding. For example over the summer I will be riding north to Haliburton area. Day and a half of riding with a mix of everything from paved roads to a bit of single track in simcoe. I know my wife doesn't love (but tollerates out of love) when I ride solo and I know the risks involved in riding solo, but I also really enjoy riding solo trips and feel like I do a pretty decent job keeping safe when I do. What I am wondering is though, have any of you ever used an app for your phone that works as a tracker? I know spot is available and so is the Garmin version, but I don't think that for the amount I use it I would warrant the cost of an active account.
    Thanks in advance
    John
  2. Vagabond

    Vagabond ODSC-OFTR Member

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    Phones have a built in GPS so as long as you have cell service I believe rescue services could find your location. You could also use give your wife access to your online 'Find my Phone' account or similiar app and she could see where you are any time - again as long as there is cell service.
    The problem is when you are out of cellular range.
    SPOT uses satellite so as long as it can pick up satellites you can be tracked and located.
    taylorericjohn likes this.
  3. taylorericjohn

    taylorericjohn ODSC-OFTR Member

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    I know phone GPS works well even without cell service, so I feel like even without cell service they should be able to track me.... maybe? The find my phone app isn't a bad idea.
  4. Visser

    Visser Limited User

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    I've used glympse (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.glympse.android.glympse) for that purpose before, and I think Waze and G-maps both have location sharing built in now. Also, I haven't tried this but I think Chef mentioned it, if you use Maprika and add a friend on there your location can be shared as well.

    The caveat being though, even if the GPS is working on your phone, unless you have a signal and a data connection these apps won't work when you are in an area with no signal. They need a data connection to send your GPS coordinates to the other phone.
    taylorericjohn likes this.
  5. GQelements

    GQelements ODSC-OFTR Member

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    there isn't a cheap MESSAGING/SOS solutions, only a few tracking options that will help find your body but not get help if needed.. Kind of useless in my opinion.

    Reality is that majority of the cost of both Spot and Garmin is in the subscription revenue. In it self, that makes Garmin relatively inexpensive if you are only riding big trips a few times a year (if you are using the monthly plan). My wife ad the same concerns so I offered her the option to cover the SPOT annual service as my Christmas/Birthday day gifts. This way I don't get poorly attempted gifts that usually get returned (and she struggles to pick) while everyone has peace of mind when I moto travel in the winter.

    PS: This year with Garmin solution being re-priced, i'm going to ask her to buy the neew Garmin communictor and I will take care of the monthly messaging contract for the months I need. Since I only travel solo in the winter, needing just 2-3 months of coverage, and ability to text with greater detail vs canned messages of 'i'm OK' and 'All good but running late' makes more sense both economically and utility-wise.
  6. neilcouture

    neilcouture ODSC-OFTR Member

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    I have a Garmin communicator - InReach that is. Seems to me its more for in the desert. Even in my backyard with trees its hard to get a signal. But there is not alternative so I live with it hoping I will never really need it...
  7. taylorericjohn

    taylorericjohn ODSC-OFTR Member

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    I think for now the "find my body" option is the route I am going to stay with. It is really just once or twice a year for a couple of days that I will use it and i don't think i have had an issue if losing cell service. I am going to try an app called Real time GPS tracker 2 when I run up to Haliburton in July and I will report back how it is. It looks like it will track your movements and put them into a google map that has a specific URL that you can share. I think you can also track other people you are riding with inside the app. It has verying degrees of acurracy depending on how much battery you want to consume. Looks like it should fit my needs for now.

    Spot or inreach will be in my future hopefully (likely distant) but for now cheap and dirty is the way I'm going

    Cheers,
  8. Visser

    Visser Limited User

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    Another option without subscription fees is a PLB... but your wife can't track you through it and you can only use it to communicate when absolutely necessary as the Armed Forces in Trenton will be the first to be notified and they will send out whichever rescuers are closest.

    Bear in mind that a PLB typically has a non-user replaceable battery, and a battery change can cost 75% of the unit's price, so if you went that route it would be about $300 to $400 for 5 or so years of service.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
  9. Phil

    Phil ODSC-OFTR Member

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    PM me re PLB tracker

    Phil
  10. hardman

    hardman ODSC-OFTR Member

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    I'm looking into one of these products from Artex at, https://www.acrartex.com/ .

    I currently own a spot unit, but the annual subscription fee has almost doubled from $99.00 to just under $200.00, so I did not renew this year considering the little riding opportunity I have. The spot unit may be worth it if you are doing long distance trips around the globe.

    The ResQLink costs definitely more than a spot unit, but the main feature is there are no annual subscription fees.

    Hardy
    taylorericjohn likes this.
  11. schnid21

    schnid21 ODSC-OFTR Member

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    I'm a pretty big fan of the Inreach Explorer. I've used it out west in the mountains when sledding and have not had the issues previously mentioned with connection problems. It also works pretty good as a GPS when you sync it to your phone and use the Garmin Earthmate App. We've used it plenty of times at the end of a day to find the quickest way back to one of our tracks to get down the mountain.

    And during the off season or when not in use it costs ~$3.00 to keep your account active.
    ichbinbier likes this.
  12. taylorericjohn

    taylorericjohn ODSC-OFTR Member

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    On my last ride up to haliHalibui tried an app called Real time GPS tracker. I was hoping that it would keep track of my route along with giving my family an idea of where I am. From what I can tell it unfortunately did not keep a track log. It did however give what my father called almost a voyeurism accurately close location of where I was. Infact he claims it was accurate enough that he would have been able to walk into the hotel I was in and directly to the room I was in! So while it didn't keep a track log it did do a great job of giving my wife the piece of mind she wants. If any of you guys are looking for an easy way to have someone keep tabs on your safety I would give it a shot.

    John
  13. hardman

    hardman ODSC-OFTR Member

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    Hey John

    I'm curious when you were out in the bush using GPS tracker, what would your family actually see?

    Hardy
  14. hverbakel

    hverbakel ODSC-OFTR Member

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    Use The MOTION X GPS app on your phone. I think it is still free.
  15. taylorericjohn

    taylorericjohn ODSC-OFTR Member

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    I believe that in the bush it just put a marker on me. I was hoping that it would keep a track log so I could see what it looked like. You can send out a personal url out to anyone. Looking back I should have sent it to myself also so that I could see it while I was riding.

    I just took a quick look at the motion x app. Looks interesting, I will have to look into it a little more
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018